The First Rule of SEO: Put Your Visitors First

Search engine optimization(SEO) presents challenges to businesses of all sizes.

It doesn’t matter how great your website is if no one can find it. But if you create your site just for the search engine “spiders” (the programs that “crawl” web pages to index them for search engines), you could end up with an unreadable site that drives visitors away.

You’ve probably seen sites that were created with just SEO in mind. The headlines don’t quite make sense or include keywords that don’t really relate to the topic on the page. The body text is crammed with links. The whole thing is far from user friendly.

That’s why SEO is part science, part art, and a complete balancing act. But if that seems daunting, don’t worry. There is one simple rule to start with: put your visitors first.

Write for Humans, Not Spiders

Before you start creating your website content, take some time to think about your target audience. Write down the answers to these questions:

  • Who do you want to visit your website? Describe in as much detail as possible.
  • What type of information will they be looking for? This might be pricing, product specs, comparison guides or how-to information, for example.
  • What questions or concerns will they have about your products or services?

Now that you have a mental picture of your readers, focus on them as you develop your content. Your first goal is to provide the information and answers they’re looking for. Don’t worry about those spiders — just focus on being as informative and helpful to your target audience as you can be.

Building a Firm Foundation

Once you’ve followed the steps above you’re well on your way to creating a website that’s both user- and SEO-friendly. That’s because you’ve focused on your audience — the people who will be searching for the information you’re providing. And by thinking about the information they’ll be looking for, you’ve gotten a good start on identifying the right keywords for your site.

Now you can go back and enhance your content: write appealing and engaging headlines, add in relevant keywords and links, and some other basic SEO steps. We’ll cover this in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!

Emergent Interactive can also provide you with expert SEO and copywriting help. Just contact us to learn more about these services.

- Today’s post written by Amy Bucklin of Clear Sky Writing of Portland, ME.

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